Bishkek, May 9. One of the most prominent opposition politicians, the jailed leader of the "Arnamys" (Dignity) Party and former vice-president Feliks Kulov, might be freed from jail within three months. Head of the party's headquarters, Emil Aliev, told RFE/RL today that Kulov would be freed within one to three months. Kulov's lawyer, Lubov Ivanova said that it is up to a decision by the Kyrgyz high court whether Kulov will be freed within 30 to 90 days or not.
Feliks Kulov himself told RFE/RL in an exclusive interview yesterday that he is not guilty, and that he is to be freed by the High court, if the court abides by the laws. Kulov's appeal has not been considered by the High Court yet. According to his supporters, he is serving the last months of his jail term in Jangyjer camp in the Chui region.
On October 11, last year, the Bishkek City Court upheld a previous verdict passed by a district court of the city on May 8, 2002. The city court cut one third of the jail term. The district court sentenced Kulov to ten years of imprisonment, convicting him of embezzlement in 1993-1997 when he was governor of the Chui Province. Kulov was already serving another term last fall. The Bishkek City military court sentenced him to seven years of imprisonment on January 22, 2001, convicting him of power abuse when he was minister of national security in 1997-1998. Opposition and human rights campaigners said both trials were politically motivated.